NEW YORK - And the 2006 Oscar Awards go to...Jon Stewart.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced Thursday that the annual Hollywood celebration of cinema excellence--or sometimes, popularity--will be hosted by none other than the standup comic turned snide commentator.
Stewart, 43, has experience playing emcee, having hosted the Grammys twice.
Doubtless the sharp-witted host of the Daily Show, jewel of Viacom (nyse: VIA - news - people ) cable channel Comedy Central, would find the Tinseltown gig not only fun but fitting: Stewart presides over a show that embodies the postmodern blurring of art and reality, with more and more youths declaring his faux-journalism comedy program their main source for news. Never mind the fact that, like Orson Welles' infamous 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast, Stewart--often within the show itself--announces that it is, in fact, all made up.
(Click here to see a series of exclusive interviews with Stewart on the Forbes.com Video network.)
One report says AMPAS contacted Stewart shortly before Christmas, and the deal was cemented a day or two before the holiday. The BBC quoted him as saying, "As an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can't help but be a little disappointed with the choice. ...It appears to be another sad attempt to smoke out Billy Crystal."
Stewart, who also appeared in the brilliant docu-comedy The Aristocrats, won the 2005 Thurber Prize for his Daily Show spinoff book, A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction.
Will he shine in the sometimes-daunting duty of shepherding the most glittering citizens of "La La Land?" One thing is in his favor: He likely couldn't do worse than David Letterman. (Sorry, Dave.)